As the season of giving approaches, discussions about Q4 global spending trends invariably focus on the behemoth of the retail world, the United States. There’s no doubt the United States’ holiday mobile spending trends are a vital gauge of global commerce. However, in the shadow of the American shopping frenzy, there are other significant regions to invest in: like Europe.
This article will venture beyond the familiar scope of U.S. holiday spending, delving into the distinct and dynamic trends that define Europe's Q4 landscape. While the U.S. undoubtedly commands attention with its Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other holiday shopping extravaganzas, understanding the holiday mobile spending trends in the European region is equally pivotal for businesses aiming to maximize their return on investment during this season.
Holiday Mobile Spending Trends
Mobile Surpasses Desktop
Regardless of region, mobile shopping is set to break records in Q4 2023. According to Adobe, this year Q4 will drive up to $221.1 billion in online sales, up 4.8% year-over-year (YOY). More than half of this online spending will occur on mobile devices (51.2%). This will mark a major milestone for mobile in which for the first time ever — mobile devices will surpass desktop and in driving the majority of online spending this season.
In-app Spending is on the Rise
According to AppsFlyer, last year, consumer spending in shopping apps increased 37% during Q4 compared to Q3 2022. This represented a 30% higher rise than the same period in 2021. In a shifting economy, this signals positive potential for retail marketers looking to meet their year-end goals via mobile channels and in-app purchases.
Despite the economy, Q4 will outperform expectations
The truth is, the global economy as a whole, is seeing a slowdown. According to Insider Intelligence, year-over-year growth in eCommerce sales fell 7% last year. And, while a 9% boost in sales is predicted for this year, this represents a stark departure from the double-digit ecommerce growth the world saw at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Despite this, trends suggest November 2023 will be a banner month for retail apps. According to AppsFlyer, eCommerce apps generated, on average, 10% more revenue in the peak month of November 2022 compared to November 2021.
November is the Most Important Month of Q4 — and the Year
Without a doubt, November is the crown jewel of the holiday season — if not the year — with Singles Day, Thanksgiving, Cyber Monday, and especially Black Friday driving sales. According to AppsFlyer, on average, November sees a 35% higher rate of consumer spending than the monthly average.
European Holiday Mobile Spending Trends
The UK Drives the Most Revenue During the Holiday Season
In Europe, retail sales (online and in-store) vary depending on the country. In 2023, the country predicted to drive the greatest revenue is United Kingdom with 84.9 billion British pounds. Second-highest-predicted earner, Germany, is expected to 74 billion British pounds. Next, France at 63 billion British pounds.
Estimated Total Christmas Spending in Retail in Europe (online and in-store) in 2023, by Country (in billion GBP)
Cumulatively, Western Europe’s Holiday Sales Represent 22% of US Sales
In 2022, western European countries drove 209.7 billion US dollars cumulatively in online holiday sales. For comparison, the United States drove 957.3 billion US dollars in holiday retail sales in 2022.
Black Friday is the Peak Shopping day in Europe
Across countries in western Europe, Black Friday is the golden day of the holiday shopping season. According to AppsFlyer, the period from November 25-27, 2022 was a prime time for app installs, driven by the frenzy of Black Friday. Globally, on November 25 alone, Android installs rose 24% over any other day in the month. On iOS, installs rose even further, increasing 38% over installs driven any other day of November.
Across top-spending European countries — including the UK and France — in-App Purchases (IAP) saw a significant spike on Black Friday last year. Android users made 61% more in-app purchases compared with the daily average IAP in November. iOS users outpaced their Android counterparts, making 81% more purchases than the November 2022 daily average.
Although not on par with Black Friday, 2022 Cyber Monday sales also saw a boost in purchases compared to the daily November average. Last year, customers made 25% more purchases on Cyber Monday compared to the average.
November 2022 Daily In-app Purchases Revenue Trend by Country and Platform Among eCommerce Apps (normalized)
Now that we’ve explored the top global spending trends, how can you leverage them to maximize your brand’s Q4 mobile marketing strategy in EMEA? Here are some tips.
Plan Early for Peak November Shopping Days
Just as in the US, in Europe, November represents the peak shopping month of the year. App marketers should plan for November shopping holidays like Black Friday and Single's Day well in advance as media costs are low while customer shopping intent remains high. We recommend laying the groundwork with early bird user acquisition campaigns and proactive retargeting campaigns to keep users coming back to your app throughout the holiday season.
Invest in Top European Mobile Markets
As noted above, the largest mobile ad market in EMEA is the United Kingdom. For reference, in 2020, eMarketer estimates that Europe’s digital ad spend was over 69 billion euros with mobile investments accounting for around 31 billion euros. The United Kingdom accounted for well over half of that sum. At approximately 14 billion euros, mobile advertising in the UK constitutes 56 percent of its digital ad expenditure. With that being said, marketers looking to spend their ad budget efficiently in EMEA should consider investing in top markets like the UK, Germany and France.
Focus on Retargeting and Owned Media Channels
With rising inflation and tightening budgets, marketing efficiency will be key for marketers this holiday season. Make the most of your ad spend by focusing on sustainable strategies — like app retargeting campaigns and initiatives on owned channels such as push, email marketing, and social media. Investing in retargeted ads and drip campaigns across owned channels will also help turn new customers acquired during Q4 into long-term customers.
- Mobile shopping is set to dominate Q4 2023, with over half of online spending happening on mobile devices.
- In-app spending continues to rise, offering a promising avenue for retail marketers aiming to meet year-end goals.
- Despite a slowdown in the global economy, Q4 is projected to be a strong period for retail apps, especially in November.
- In EMEA, the United Kingdom leads in holiday season revenue, making it a prime market for investment.
- Black Friday reigns as the peak shopping day in Europe, with significant spikes in in-app purchases and sales across top markets.
Maximize Your EMEA Q4 Mobile Marketing Strategy:
- Plan ahead for peak November shopping days like Black Friday and Single's Day, capitalizing on low media costs and high shopping intent.
- Invest in top EMEA mobile markets, focusing on countries like the UK, Germany, and France for efficient ad spending.
- Emphasize retargeting and owned media channels to make the most of your marketing budget, turning Q4 acquisitions into long-term customers.
Ready to excel in EMEA this Q4? Reach out to YouAppi's team of experts to win new customers and keep them engaged beyond the holiday season.